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SBF Files Plea to Access FTX's Funds, Asserts His Ignorance

Attorneys for disgraced FTX founder Sam-Bankman Fried are attempting to remove a bail term that barred him from accessing the exchange's cash.

Image Source: TimesNext(1.1)

According to a recent court filing (1), attorneys for disgraced FTX founder Sam-Bankman Fried are attempting to remove a bail term that barred him from accessing the exchange's cash.

Mark Cohen, an attorney for Bankman-Fried, submitted a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court, adding that his client should be allowed access to the funds held by FTX. In addition, Kaplan claimed that Bankman-Fried had never participated in any illegal or unethical business dealings in the past.

Despite this, FTX and FTX US went after unlawful transactions totaling $659 million back in November 2022, when the FTX empire fell apart. But the discredited founder Bankman-Fried maintains that he had nothing to do with these payments.

At the request of the United States authorities, Bankman-Fried was "prohibited from acquiring or transmitting any FTX or Alameda assets or crypto currency" during the first court hearing that took place on January 3. This included assets or crypto currency purchased with funds from FTX or Alameda.

At that time, the prosecution had admitted that there wasn't any proof to show that SBF was involved in transferring monies. Nevertheless, the US authorities mentioned that a federal investigation was already underway.

SBF's Lawyer Seeks Answers on FTX Funds

The attorney who is representing Sam Bankman-Fried contended that it has been

"three weeks have passed ever since the initial preliminary hearing conference, and we assume that the Administration's inquiry has affirmed what Mr. Bankman-Fried has been saying, i.e., that he did not connect directly and transfer these assets" in a recent filing that was submitted on the previous Saturday."

The defense attorney also maintained that they had informed the police as soon as they were aware of the transfer to offer the notification, which the lawyer argued was another one of their arguments.

The attorneys also claimed that "given that the primary rationale offered for seeking that condition has not been supported, we think that the bail restriction placed at the meeting should be withdrawn" (given that the sole premise advanced for requesting that provision has not been supported).

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) made a request one week ago to restrict SBF from speaking with "present or past workers" of FTX without the presence of his counsel.

This request was made in response to SBF's alleged involvement in a criminal enterprise. This transpired when SBF contacted Ryan Miller, who serves as the current General Counsel of FTX US, through Signal on January 15, intending to seek to influence Miller's testimony.

Mark Cohen, an attorney for SBF, stated that his client should be allowed unrestricted communication with his parents, psychotherapist, and any worker or agent, even when his counsel is present. The defense continued by saying:

"For instance, it would imply that Mr. Bankman-Fried would be unable to communicate with his psychotherapist, a former associate of FTX, without the involvement of his attorneys in the conversation. Around 350 people were working for FTX and Alameda, as stated by publicly available sources, and these present and former workers may have information essential to Mr. Bankman-Fried's defense."